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Dec 31, 2011 10:29 AM

smoked chicken thighs

hello i have made smoked chicken before but every time i make it i get rubbery chicken skin is there a way that i can cook it at a higher temp for crispy skin

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  1. The best way I've found to do smoked chicken is to cold smoke it to impart the smoke flavor (should only need 15 or 20 minutes of smoking) and then sear it off in a pan and finish cooking it in the oven.

    1. I smoke chicken wings with skin on and then finish on the grill for a few minutes to get the skin crispy.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Njchicaa

        +1 There is nothing wrong with finishing a smoked food over high heat. In fact most my ribs and chicken get finished over high heat. If you don't want to fire up another grill just throw them under the broiler. Another thing you will want to do is make sure there is a bit of separation from the skin and meat before cooking. Salt the skin (or brine) and let the bird chill in fridge for 4-8 hours. If you are brining you will want to dry well and then let rest in fridge. Pat the skin dry really well and smoke at a slightly higher temp, around 275-300. This alone may give you the bite through skin you are looking for.

      2. After you brine them -- you are brining them, aren't you? -- let them air-dry on a rack in the fridge for a day or two. Even after a low-temp slow smoke, the skin will get crispy and stay that way if they're very dry going in.

        1. There are several ways to go about it. Most are labor intensive.

          Here is a high level approach that is the easiest way I know:

          First, brine the thighs using whatever method you prefer (I favor high salt concentration for a couple of hours)

          Then use a Jaccard to punch tons of holes in the thighs on the skin side until the surface of the skin looks like cheese cloth. The perforations make it easier for the fat to render.

          Then apply rub.

          Cook indirect skin side up at 300F measured at the cooking surface for 15 minutes. Then flip the thighs skin side down and cook until the internal temperature is 160F.

          Remove from the smoker, dunk in sauce. Return to the smoker for another 10 minutes to set the sauce.

          Serve and enjoy.